Monday, 25 May 2015

The ancient cork forests of Sant Feliu de Guíxols ...

Yesterday morning we set off for a walk through the cork forest that clings to the dry barren hills on the other side of town. 

It's an ancient place where development is prohibited and the wildlife flourishes. 

For many centuries the cork industry was one of the stable sources of income that fed generations of people here in our little village. They peeled great sheets of bark from the trees on this dusty hillside and dragged them back into town to fashion into a multitude of things: floats for the fishing nets, life vests, elaborate decorative and devotional objects, and of course cork stoppers for wine bottles and oil amphorae. 

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Chartres blue ...

We arrived in Chartres in the early hours of yesterday morning, exhausted by our mad dash out of London. Emi's exams over, we were hungry for the open road and the warmth of the Mediterranean sun. Spain was calling us home, but, en route, we decided to stop off to sample a bit of Chartres blue; a blue that was created in the 12th century using a secret formula, known only to a trusted few, and lost forever on the completion of the great cathedral. Truly, there is no other blue quite like Chartres blue ...

Friday, 15 May 2015

Happy Friday!

Gosh it's good to see you, Friday. It feels like an age since last we met ... .

It's been a l-o-n-g week over here at Talk-a-Lot Towers. I've been busy with work assignments and Emi has been revising for exams, which are due to take place next week. He's been a great little soldier, throwing his shoulder to the wheel and just getting on with it, but it feels tough on a chap who's only 9 to be stuck indoors grappling with revision, especially on those wonderful afternoons when the sun's been shining and the great outdoors has been beckoning.

And all the while I've been watching my new rose to see its first bloom. It's a much anticipated event - a bit like that kettle that you keep watching, which never seems to boil.

I fell in love with this rose back in the dark days of late November, and bought it on impulse when I stumbled upon it in the garden centre. It's called Munstead Wood in honour of Gertrude Jekyll's garden. And I've got high hopes for it as a pot pourri rose. This is what they promised me it would like:

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Spring into Summer Socks ...

Have you had a pyjama day recently?

I rarely get the chance to spend all day in my jim jams, but when I do there's nothing I like more than a pair of the softest woolly socks to team with some fluffy slippers as I take things easy ... really, really easy. So if you're looking for a suitably indulgent pair of socks to team with your Uggs, then look no further.

And the good news is that they're really easy to make. Moreover using double knitting wool instead of 4 ply, and knitting on 4 mm double pins turns them into a super quick project that you could easily knock out over a wet weekend.

Want to give them a go? Then read on for the pattern.